Monday, February 19 , 2018, 8:13 am | Fair 49º


Why Basic Items Are Needed Items, Even in Santa Barbara County

Local organizations visit Direct Relief’s Goleta warehouse to pick up hygeine kits.
Local organizations visit Direct Relief’s Goleta warehouse to pick up hygeine kits.  (Bryn Blanks / Direct Relief photo)

Santa Barbara County’s picturesque scenery and ideal climate can paint an incomplete picture of the challenges many residents face.

In stark contrast to its wealthy enclaves, almost 14 percent of residents live below the poverty line, while the region’s homeless shelters often reach capacity and, at certain north county schools, over 90 percent of students qualify for subsidized or free lunches.

Fortunately, across Santa Maria, Lompoc, Guadalupe, Santa Ynez, Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, dozens of local groups are working to provide a broad range of essential services to address these needs and strengthen their communities.

Twice a year, representatives from these organizations travel to Direct Relief to collect personal care kits for families in need.

The kits contain non-prescription items such as toothpaste, soap, lotion, towels, deodorant and floss. While basic, these items can mean a lot to somebody who has to make tradeoffs to pay rent or afford groceries.

Direct Relief works on an international scale but remains dedicated to helping vulnerable people wherever they are. That includes here, in Santa Barbara County.

Since 1994, Direct Relief has supported local organizations that serve tens of thousands of individuals in need –schools, homeless shelters, medical providers, youth organizations, counseling centers, and more.

The hygeine kit includes personal care items needed by families with limited resources. Click to view larger
The hygeine kit includes personal care items needed by families with limited resources.  (Bryn Blanks / Direct Relief photo)

Breanna Casas, a case manager at New Beginnings Counseling Center in Santa Barbara, CA, expressed in a recent interview the impact of these kits from Direct Relief. Homeless individuals visit the center “so excited to have personal care products” that improve their cleanliness and hygiene.

More than 35 local nonprofit organizations that serve homeless and low-income individuals and families visited the Direct Relief Goleta warehouse to collect hygiene kits. They include:

» 2nd Story Associates

» Network Medical

» AHA!

» Our Lady of Guadalupe

» American Indian Health & Services

» PATH Santa Barbara

» Carpinteria Unified School District

» People Helping People

» Carrillo Counseling Services, Inc.

» Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

» Catholic Charities

» Santa Barbara County Executive

» Child Abuse Listening Mediation

» Santa Barbara County Office of Education

» Common Ground SB County

» Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics

» Community Action Commission

» Santa Barbara Rescue Mission

» Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse

» Santa Barbara Street Medicine

» Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center

» Santa Barbara Unified School District

» Domestic Violence Solutions

» Santa Maria Valley Youth & Family Center

» Family Service Agency

» Special Olympics of Southern California

» Freedom Warming Centers

» St. Vincent’s Santa Barbara

» Goleta Union School District

» The Salvation Army – Hospitality House

» Good Samaritan Shelter

» Transition House

» Guadalupe Union School

» United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County

» Isla Vista Youth Projects

» Willbridge of Santa Barbara

» Jessie Hopkins Hinchee

» Youth and Family Services YMCA

» Mental Wellness Center

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